JEFFERSON CITY – COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Cole County. The county has seen an increase of over 500 cases in the past two weeks.
536 cases have been reported in the last 14 days, according to data from the University of Missouri Extension.
Two weeks ago, Cole County only had 1,559 total cases. As of Oct. 12, it has 2,095, an increase of more than 30 percent.
Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin said city government won’t change anything for now, but it will continue to encourage safe practices to residents.
“It’s not just a 9 to 5 daytime thing,” Tergin said. “It’s something we have be diligent about all the time.”
Tergin said issuing recommendations for individuals and businesses will continue to be the plan in Jefferson City.
“From the beginning, we’ve put recommendations for businesses, for sports gatherings, for anything. You’ll continue to see those recommendations coming,” Tergin said.
Those recommendations include limiting gatherings, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
Jefferson City does not have a city-wide mask ordinance.
The active cases in Cole County surpassed the frequency of positive cases in Boone County, based on population.
Boone County reported 558 cases in the last two weeks, but it has more than double the population of Cole County.
There are 20 active cases for every 10,000 Boone County residents, but there are 32 for the same population in Cole County.
The increase in cases can put a significant strain on area hospitals.
Missouri Hospital Association spokesperson Dave Dillon said if hospital bed capacity gets too full, patients can be moved out of the area.
“It’s a matter of total resources available,” Dillon said. “We hope we don’t get there, but it’s entirely contingent on the population of Central Missouri.”
Dillon said hospitals need the public to wear masks and distance to slow the spread of the virus.